LibriVox recording of Looking Backward: 2000-1887, by Edward Bellamy. Read by Anna Simon.
Looking Backward: 2000-1887 is a utopian novel by Edward Bellamy, , first published in 1888. It was the third largest bestseller of its time, after Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
The book tells the story of Julian West, a young American who, towards the end of the 19th century, falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep and wakes up more than a century later. He finds himself in the same location (Boston, Massachusetts) but in a totally changed world: It is the year 2000 and, while he was sleeping, the U.S.A. has been transformed into a socialist utopia. This book outlines Bellamy's complex thoughts about improving the future, and is an indictment of industrial capitalism. (Summary adapted from Wikipedia)
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March 19, 2015 Subject:
So idealistic, I got bored
All the chapters of explanations about how the new society worked, while at first were interesting, they kept coming and coming. I got bored with them. I found a chapter synopsis online and skipped to Chapter 23 (wanted 24, but it was combined in the file with 23). The plot picked up a bit past that point so I could finish the book.
The reader is excellent. The audio quality is great. The "story" got too bogged down in explaining this utopia in all its aspects.
Maybe I'm just not one for political science / political economy / idealism.
March 17, 2011 Subject:
Anna Simon does an excellent job.
What motivates Bellamy is a refreshing idealism sadly lacking for the most part in our current politics. While his top-down, one-size-fits-all plan for government cooperatively owned by The People is flawed. His ideals of having people self-actualized and more fairly compensated for giving their best efforts is on solid ground. No wonder so many people were attracted to Bellamy in the 19th century, when the book was the best selling novel behind Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur.